I wasn't even planning to try for a PR. I've been running a lot of miles lately to keep my 20 mile/week average, and the Friday night before the race I did a really hard incline/speed workout on the treadmill (thanks Brandi!), so I expected my legs to be tired, but I actually felt great.
I run a different strategy in a 3 miler or 5K than I do in a longer race. I usually just go ahead and go as fast as I feel like running from the very beginning. Not sprinting, but not holding back either. I think in such a short race that if I try to hold back and pace myself, I will hold back too much and not have time to make it up, so I would rather go at the start, even if I slow down some at the end. Most times I don't ever slow down, because once that VOICE starts trying to tell me I have to or I'll never make it, I'm usually already past halfway and I know it's lying.
Last weekend, though, I got a bit of an extra motivational push. Just after halfway, I saw a guy two blocks ahead of me wearing a Duke shirt. And this was only 2 days after Duke beat UNC in a very close game. Sorry Dookie, your team might have beat mine, but you weren't going to beat me. I kicked up my pace a little and passed the Duke fan, resisting the urge to trash talk in case he felt like pulling a Grayson Allen on me, and kept pushing all the way to the finish. Dude never had a chance to catch back up. I did look for him after the race to tell him how he motivated me, but I never saw him.
|Ringing the PR Bell!|
It's not just that race or dudes in Dook shirts. I actually am running faster lately. I didn't PR Sunday's Hook-Up 5K, but I came as close as I ever have when I wasn't being paced. And tonight I ran my personal best at our Thursday Night Run Club: 10:45 pace including stoplights. I don't know who swapped legs with me, but you can't have them back! I'm sure I have a bad run coming up - they can't all be good - but lately I've felt really strong and I'm enjoying every run.
Side note on my outfit in the picture at the beginning: that is not what I wore in Saturday's race, although now I wish I had. It's actually from last year's Race For Roofs, which was on the same day UNC played IU in the Sweet 16 (Hoo-Hoo-Hoosiers went down 101-86, in case you don't remember). The Race for Roofs has been moved from March to July this year, but I'm sure the outfit will make an appearance again sometime during March Madness.
Coming Up: The Polar Bear is this weekend! I'm running The Bear (5K + 5 Mile), and the weather looks to be just perfect, so it should be a lot of fun.